IN a week where it seemed awards ceremonies were taking over the world, the Australian Recording Industry Association slipped out a modest press release saying the countdown to this year’s music industry gala, the ARIA Awards, had begun. On Wednesday the nominees will be announced for this year’s event, to be held at Sydney Entertainment Centre on November 29. To start us off, the winners of the artisan awards will also be named at Wednesday’s do at the Art Gallery of NSW. Among the leading contenders are Wally de Backer, better known as Gotye, and his dad Frank de Backer, who are nominated jointly in the best cover art category for Gotye’s album The same album’s engineer, Francois Tetaz, is also up for a trophy. Keen to ramp up the ARIA experience, we can also expect an announcement in the next week or so regarding ARIA Week. Yes, ARIA WEEK. I’m assured this won’t involve prizewinners in the lower ranks receiving their trophies in front of a handful of drenched fans in Sydney’s Domain, as happened in 2010. No, this ARIA Week will be a much more industry-based event, with conferences and showcase performances part of the brief in the lead-up to the big one. AS to the events of this week, Prince must have been over the moon to get his first Helpmann award for best international contemporary concert. I wonder if it was for the one where everybody left the auditorium because they thought he wasn’t coming back for an encore after sitting in the dark for 15 minutes. AUTOBIOGRAPHIES have been arriving on the SD desk with disturbing regularity during the past few weeks, among them the take-noprisoners, tell-it-like-it-was confessionals of country legend Kenny Rogers and Duran Duran’s bassist John Taylor. Rogers’s memoir,
charts the singer’s journey from Houston, Texas, through years paying his dues on the road to becoming one of the wealthiest entertainers on the planet, a trip undertaken for the most part with immaculate hair. It has some good yarns and some great lines including ‘‘that I love being married should be obvious by now given how many times I’ve tried it’’. I’m sure I’ve heard that in a song somewhere. Taylor’s, as you’d expect, is a bit more rock ’n’ roll, taking in the band’s popularity with royalty and his indulgences on the periphery of pop stardom, although it has to be said that hair products feature prominently too. One wonders if the two men ever crossed paths and perhaps swapped notes on grooming. Haven’t found evidence of such in either book so far. WHILE we’re speaking of autobiographies, hotly anticipated is the upcoming tome of Neil Young, which he claims is more of a diary than a memoir. That one’s due any day, to be followed by his next album,
at the end of October. IT has taken 49 years for English rock band the Pretty Things to make their way to Australia, but that is what they are doing in December. The group, which had their biggest hit with
in 1964, were revered in their native land in the 1960s. David Bowie covered two of their songs on his 1973
album. They almost made it to Australia in 1965 but were deported from New Zealand and went home after an incident on a plane, when their drummer set fire to a dead fish in a bag while at 30,000 feet. Rock ’n’ roll.